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Boxer Alejandro Lavorante Is Dead

Apr. 1, 1964 - Alejandro Lavorante (left), former Argentine heavyweight champion, died today in Mendoza as the result of ring injuries suffered a year and a half ago. He was 27 years old.

Lavorante was the third well-known boxer to die from injuries in recent years. Benny Paret of New York, the welterweight champion, died April 3, 1962, after having been knocked out by Emile Griffith of New York in the 12th round of a fight at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 1962. Davey Moore of Los Angeles, the featherweight titleholder, died March 25, 1963, after having been knocked out by Sugar Ramos of Cuba in the 10th round of a title bout in Los Angeles on March 21, 1963.

Lavorante never fully recovered consciousness after a freakish knockout by Johnny Riggins (right) in Los Angeles on Sept. 21, 1962. He underwent three brain operations, the first only hours after the knockout. In time, he learned to speak a few words, to walk from a wheelchair to his bed, and to eat his foot unassisted. He was taken home to Rosario, Argentina, after eight months in a Los Angeles hospital and seemed to understand where he was going. But doctors never held out hope for his complete recovery.

“I just kept hoping and praying he would come through,” said Riggins today in San Francisco when he heard of Lavorante’s death. “He was a good fighter and could have gone up.”

The knockout by Riggins, a little-known heavyweight, was the third suffered by Lavorante in six months. He had been stopped by the former light-heavyweight champion, Archie Moore, in 10 rounds on March 30, 1962. Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, knocked him out in the fifth round on July 20, 1962. Before his first knockout defeat, by Moore, Lavorante had beaten such fighters as Zora Folley, Willi Besmanoff, and Alonzo Johnson.

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